Tuesday, May 25, 2010

And So I've Commenced...

It's official, Ladies and Gentlemen. I am now the Master of my future. On Sunday I graduated from Marquette University with much fanfare and only a little bit of a stranglehold from my robe's hood.

Unfortunately, Marquette puts a bit too much confidence in a graduate's ability to understand vague directions, and so there was a slight slip up in seating...

It seems that some MBA grads got in line by the "Master's Candidates" flag. This, combined with what generally happens at a commencement - people follow those in front of them blindly and without question - some of us MA candidates followed those MBA folks once they entered the arena and we ended up in their crew. We quickly corrected this mistake by leaving the row and walking up the center aisle in the Bradley Center to where the rest of the MA candidates were filing in. Much to the chagrin of the seating patrol (aka: man in courtly robes glaring at us from underneath a blue and gold squishy hat), this seemed to fix the problem, but when it came time for the President to confer our degrees, I looked back and noticed about 100 empty seats between us and the MBAs...meanwhile, there were graduates from the College of Engineering sitting in the bowl.

Perhaps instead of glaring at us, that gentleman in charge of seating graduates could've directed those folks to the empty seats so that there wouldn't be an embarrassingly large empty space on the arena floor? But what do I know?


Marquette did a splendid job of choosing a commencement speaker. Wendy Kopp, Founder of Teach for America, did an excellent job sending us out into the world. Instead of blowing smoke up our behinds and telling us how great we are, she instead told us how incredibly privileged and blessed we are and that we should take all that blessing and give it out to those in need as we make our way. In other words, "Be the Difference," as Marquette's motto states.

I'm really glad I went to the big ceremony; it was much more entertaining than the small, college-level one where I listened to my stomach growl while idly counting piles of degree holders as they dwindled down in proportion to the number of undergraduates who were called across the stage.

That took awhile.

And the auditorium where that ceremony was held was not air conditioned.

Thumbs down to polyester robes.

And they coldly ended the ceremony before we Masters graduates could even make it back to our seats after we had the privilege of walking. Boors.

But all in all it was a fun day. I enjoyed the pomp and circumstance. Perhaps more clarity could have helped all of us to know how to correctly put on our hoods and when we were supposed to switch our tassles over (the directions stated "after YOUR degree is conferred," AND "once ALL degrees are conferred"), but the mess ups only added to the experience.

And nobody really noticed.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bar Trivia: One of Many Talents

It's a little known fact, but in addition to my general awesomeness I am pretty darn good at bar trivia. Not so good at Trivial Pursuit, but pretty excellent at bar trivia.

That being said, I hope I don't blow it tonight. Because the @MUCollegeofComm grad students and I are heading out to Whiskey Bar to play (and likely drink) a round.

We. Will. Dominate.

Monday, May 17, 2010

2nd Annual Greater Green Bay Getaway

In celebration of the day I entered into this world, I once again invited some friends to spend the weekend at the family's homestead in Green Bay. Last year it was such a hit with the Door County winery tour that I knew I had to come up with something equally fantastic. And I did.

Friday Evening: Arrival
Most everyone arrived by Friday evening just in time for a drink. I took the gals to The Bar, as Tom, Dick, & Harry's, GB's trendy night spot, had a total of 3 cars in the parking lot.

You know, if you're business only happens when you've got live music, then you are in trouble. That's all I'm saying.

The margaritas were sadly free of any but the smallest amount of tequila. We requested an extra shot to make it more, hm, "South Side Milwaukee," if you will. The price of the mid-shelf tequila shot was almost the same as the margarita. Fail.

Wakey, wakey, eggs and bac-ey
Because we got to bed around 3 a.m. the night (morning?) before, we woke up bright and early at 9 a.m. Just in time for LB to arrive and the rest of us to realize that we'd better get showered and dressed.

Go Pack Go
Our only plan for the weekend was a birthday dinner and a Lambeau Field tour. We braved the 10,000 marathoners at Lambeau and happened to get a tour all to ourselves. This way we were able to ask all the silly, ridiculous questions we wanted much to the good-natured chagrin of our very patient tour guide. No, we can't see the locker rooms as a few players were in residence. No, she's not sure where they hang out in their free time. No, she cannot pass along our phone numbers to the single ones.

I kid.

Sort of.

But really, we got a great tour all to ourselves and asked all sorts of pertinent questions lady Packer fans graduating with communications degrees would want to know the answers to. Like how do they rig up the sky cam on game day? How many times per day do they feed the players? What do they do with all the food left over from feeding the media?

We ended our Packer fan experience with lunch at Curly's (respectable Bloody Mary's by the by), and a stop in the Pro Shop.

A Girl's Best Friend
For graduation my parents took me to the jewelry store and let me at it (within reason). I had my eye on something since January and so the trip was brief, but the gals got to look around and decide what kind of engagement rings they would want should they become engaged.

Captain's Walk
Last year we started the Door County winery tour at Captain's Walk in Green Bay. For the rest of the day every other stop was slightly disappointing as it just couldn't live up to the Captain's experience. They treated us real well last year, and again this year when we went for an afternoon tipple, I mean, tasting.

My favorite was the 7 Seas.

My second favorite was sitting on the porch in a rocking chair with my glass of wine for an hour, chatting with the gals and soaking up the sunshine.

Seriously, if they took on boarders, then surely I'd live there.

I'd been telling the ladies how awesome Angelina's in Green Bay is for, oh, 10 months or so. Three of us had gone to Italy last summer to study abroad and I said, "Ladies, this is the best Italian I've had outside of Italy."

(This was before I went to Chef John Besh's Domenica in New Orleans, bygones).

So when I called for a reservation for Saturday night, imagine my extreme disappointment when they told me they were full.

10,000 marathoners will do that, I learned.

Then I tried not to think about how I might punch anyone in running shorts in the face.

Then I called my parents. Surely they would know a great place in the greater Green Bay area?

"But, of course!" said my stepdad, "Don't you remember that delicious seafood restaurant by UWGB on the bay?"

How could I forget? Harbor Fish Market & Grille, the magical place that makes risotto cakes (think Suppli if you've ever been to Italy) that are like small, fried, pillows from heaven.

The waitress remembered me from my one visit there, oh, about a year ago.

We gals each ordered something different and not one of us was disappointed.

We did not regret this dining experience. I even stopped wanting to punch runners in the face.

Our weekend ended with an amazing breakfast. Homemade waffles with a variety of toppings combined by homemade Bloody Marys with a variety of garnishes. Really, the hitch was that we needed to commit ourselves to one thing before moving on to the next - to start with sweet? or savory?

I think I pickled my intestines.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Carlson School Training

The funny thing about my undergraduate training at the Carlson School of Management (CSOM) is that it manifests itself at the oddest (ironically most appropriate) times.

Today I had a job interview. In true CSOM fashion, I did a little company research, took notes, planned out a few answers to questions, etc. It's what they ground into my head. It's now what I do.

A routine, if you will.

In preparation I also scoured my closet for a business suit last week, and wasn't impressed with what I found. Though my suit will do in a pinch, I much prefer something a little stylish. Understated, yes. But stylish too.

So instead, when I woke up today I put on what I thought was a professional, understated, yet stylish outfit instead of suit. It was only later that I realized how well it fits into the "rules" CSOM gave us business students.

Neutral colored basics - check, with a black shell dress (bonus points for being more traditional than pants)
Neutral colored accents - check, with the light blue button down shirt
No bare legs - check, because dang if it's cold out today
Minimal jewelry - check, with the stud earrings and watch
Minimal makeup - check, because it's me
Black pumps - check, with a small diversion of ankle straps

See? I didn't even think about it, but automatically dressed by the job interview guidelines CSOM pounded into my head. The rule of thumb, of course, being don't let them remember you for anything else but your mad skillz and experience. Not your distractingly dangly earrings or fire engine-red shoes...both of which I have and sport on a regular basis. Instead, keep it simple and understated, in a word: generic.

I even brought a small portfolio briefcase with copies of my resume and references. Because that's what we Carlson kids do.

So to all of the U of M folks who used to call us CSOM students nerds, I'd just like to say that yes, we are nerds, but being a nerd is great sometimes.

PS - And yes, I'm sending hand-written thank you notes...

Friday, May 7, 2010

College Students: A Tough Crowd to Please

As a T.A. at Marquette University, I have the pleasure of teaching an introductory speaking and writing course.

I enjoy teaching.

It's fun.

Except for all of the grading.

Well, today was the last day of the semester, and the student evaluations are in. If I can please this crowd, perhaps it's just one more reason why you should #hireme!

Apologies, AJ Bombers

Intruiged by the burger war taking place in Milwaukee this week, I braved the crowd to have my first AJ Bombers burger last night to celebrate the end of my graduate school career...along with one of their Bloody Marys, of course.

It's with a heavy heart that I now make my decision in favor of Sobelman's. While AJB does a good burger, it just wasn't a mind-blowing burger experience like Sobelman's is.

And the bloody at AJB was, um, not good.

But I don't like horseradish, so that definitely biases my opinion.

I like a more savory Bloody with mix of spicy spices, not just a one note spice. Think Trocadero's rosemary-infused vodka bloody, or, yes, Sobelman's spicy spice-tacular concoction.

Bombers does have an intriguingly orignal garnish, though.

I don't know. Maybe my expectations were too high. Maybe I should study for 4 hours straight until my eyes are crossed and then head to Bombers for a burger and then, all things being equal to my Sobelman's experience, the burger and bloody would taste better?


I'm sorry, AJ Bombers. You're a social media darling after my very heart, but I just wasn't moved to the orgasmic food coma that Sobelman's gave me.


After my Sobelman's experience I walked around in a haze of happy for the rest of the day. I literally couldn't wipe the satisfied grin off my face.

After AJ Bombers, however, I hate to say this, but I was not as impressed as I thought I would be. They have a fun atmosphere if the bar is full, and their burger is good and creative, but I left wondering if the gimmick is bigger than the taste.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Burger Battle Briefing

Everyone's talking about the burger battle taking place this week in Milwaukee between social media darling AJ Bomber's and old skool favorite Sobelman's. The Travel Channel's Food Wars is coming to the Cream City for the showdown, and I would be remiss as a Milwaukee-based blogger if I didn't mention it.

You can read about it all you want on JS Online, the Marquette Tribune, the Milwaukee Food blog, or by following the action on Twitter. Dig all you want, but here's what you really need to know:

Thursday - AJ Bomber's:
1241 N. Water St.
filming at 12:30 PM, bar open to the public

Friday - Sobelman's:
1900 W. Saint Paul Ave.
filming at 11:00 AM for lunch rush

Saturday - Switzerland:
1114 N. Water St.
filming at 11:30 AM for final judging
okay, so Bar Louie is not, technically, Switzerland, but they were picked as the neutral zone for the final tasting and judging

For more fun, take a look at this letter of surrender by Dave Sobelman to Joe Sorge (owner of AJ Bombers). And Mr. Sorge tearing up the letter on TMJ4 Live at Daybreak and offering an AJ Bomber's t-shirt as recompense.

Having only tasted the perfection of a Sobelman's burger, I cannot take a stance on this issue, however, the awesomeness of the Sobelman's burger was enhanced by their world-class bloody mary I chose to pair it with. And so, without the benefit of a bloody mary, I'm even more unsure as to where their burger will land in this battle.

I do have one pertinent question though, if Sobelman's loses will they have to change their URL?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

#hireme is a hit!

Accolades for my #hireme campaign from across social media (Blogger, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more).

Monday, May 3, 2010

One of 15 PR Grads to Hire in 2010

You may not know this, but I'm pretty shameless. Especially when it comes to self-promotion. I mean, in this economy and highly-competitive marketplace like Milwaukee, a girl's gotta take every opportunity she can, right?

In that effort, I submitted an entry in a contest Sarah Evans, PR guru and social media maven extraordinaire, was highlighting on her blog for HAPPO - Help A PR Pro Out. Current grads were encouraged to write a 100 word or less response to the prompt A Day in the Life of My Dream Job Goes Like This...

And I responded in haiku.

And guess what?

I'm featured at #3!

A History of My #hireme Campaign